Maryland Carey Law

Casual Conversations

Get to Know Members of the Maryland Carey Law Community

Brandon Wharton
Class of 2021
BS, Towson University

Hometown: Frederick, Maryland

What student organization(s) have you been involved with at Maryland Carey Law?
Maryland Law Review (currently editor-in-chief; previously staff editor) Black Law Students Association, Joint Committee on Faculty Appointments.

Who is your favorite Supreme Court Justice?
I have a deep admiration for Justice Elena Kagan’s writing abilities. Her opinions are conversational, easy-to-follow, and well-reasoned.

What is one personal or professional goal that you are currently working toward?
Everyone who knows me knows that I rarely cook. I’ve been trying to spend more time in the kitchen during quarantine. Results have been mixed.

Name something that people would be surprised to know about you.
I lived in Louisiana for a little bit growing up. Yes, I even had the accent.

What is your best moment at Maryland Carey Law thus far?
The best moment was when I found out that I would be serving as the editor-in-chief of the Maryland Law Review. It’s a lot of work but incredibly rewarding.

What is your favorite TV show?
“Succession” on HBO is terrific. I can’t wait for Season 3!

What is your favorite place to visit in Baltimore?
Canton Waterfront Park

Brandon Wharton’s photo courtesy of and by Lauren Castellana, Towson University


Maneka Sinha
Assistant Professor of Law
JD, New York University School of Law
BS, University of California, Berkeley

Hometown: Van Nuys, California. It’s a little district of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley.

Who inspires you?
My former colleagues at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. They are my mentors, friends, and heroes.

What is one personal or professional goal you are currently working toward?
Becoming productive working from home!

What book(s) are you currently reading (or have recently read)?
Do comic books count? I’m in the middle of the X-Men Age of Apocalypse story line now. Anything about a band of rebels fighting for justice is right up my alley.

What do you like most about our campus? Or, what is your favorite place on campus?
I love our campus! I love running into students on the stairs and high fiving them in the halls (pre-pandemic, of course). But my favorite place is the courtyard. I’m a true sun-loving Californian and any place I can sit outdoors with some reading is ideal.

What is your best memory of teaching at Maryland Carey Law (thus far)?
In just a year, I already have many. But probably the best are the moments when students, after practicing an argument for days or weeks, go into court and drop the mic.

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?
Vinny from “My Cousin Vinny!”

What is your favorite Supreme Court case of all time?
I don’t have one. There is a tendency towards reverence, sometimes blind, of the Supreme Court, especially those decisions containing citable, soaring rhetoric that I try to push back on. That’s because, when you peel away the surface, many, if not all decisions are the product of thoughtful, fierce advocacy and activism. So, I prefer to focus on the behind-the-scenes players who lay the groundwork for those big decisions by fighting for change in the background.


Mike Green

Director of Information Technology
BS, Columbia Southern University

Hometown: Hampstead, Maryland

Who inspires you?
My daughter inspires me every day to make me want to become a better version of myself.

What is one goal you are currently working on?
I’m currently pursuing my MBA at UMGC. I would also like to complete my PMP certification in the next year or two.

What is your favorite place to visit in Baltimore?
The National Aquarium is my favorite attraction, and I like taking morning walks with my dog through Federal Hill on the weekends.

What is the best part about working at Maryland Carey Law so far?
I love working with such a diverse group of faculty, staff, and students. I enjoy the flexibility to explore and implement the latest technologies to give our students the best educational experience possible.

Name something that people would be surprised to know about you.
I served 8 years on active duty in the United States Air Force and have deployed multiple times in support of operations globally. I was lucky enough to visit over 25 countries while serving.

What was your dream job as a kid?
Like most kids growing up in Maryland I wanted to play for the Orioles. I also wanted to be a pilot.

What is your favorite TV show or movie?
My daughter and I started re-watching “The Simpsons” during quarantine and it certainly stands the test of time.


Leah Durant '04
Principal at Law Offices of
Leah V. Durant, PLLC.
BA, University of Maryland, College Park

Hometown: Lakewood, Washington

Who inspires you?
My parents. My Dad is the hardest working person I know; he just retired last month at age 76. My Mom is an inspiration. She grew up in South Carolina and can do practically anything. I wish I could be so self-reliant. It is from them that I learned the value of hard work and the power of prayer.

What is one goal you are currently working toward?
I want to be an entrepreneur. I have my own law firm with 10 employees, but now I want to use that business and legal experience and develop a product or service that people can benefit from on a daily basis.

What is your best memory of Maryland Carey Law?
Without a doubt, being in the Women, Leadership, and Equality Program. I learned so much from both the academic component and the practical component. The program is run by a superwoman, by the name of Paula Monopoli. I still do not know how she teaches full time, runs the WLE Program, writes books, raised a family, and made it all seem so effortless.

Do you have any advice for recent law school graduates?
Once you find your first job, make yourself indispensable to your boss, no matter what kind of work it is. A little “hustle” goes a really long way, especially if it is  sustained.

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?
Atticus Finch. Atticus is principled and fearless, even if he loses the respect of his town. He is committed to the truth and achieving justice.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. He is always so interesting and appeals to my love of psychology. I also read the Bible as much as I can.

What is your favorite Supreme Court Case of all time?
Brown v. Board of Education. Being an African American woman, this case made it possible for me to pursue my dreams. It leveled the playing field so those with talent and hard work could succeed no matter the color of their skin. It paved the way for passage of the Civil Rights cases of the 1960s. And I am also so proud that the case was argued by Thurgood Marshall, an icon whose name has become synonymous with law and justice.